Marcus can do lots of real things this month. He can open a DVD case, take out the disc, open a DVD player, and insert the disc. He can eat frozen yogurt out of a little sample cup and then walk over to the trash can (in the yogurt place), lift the lid, and toss out his cup when he's finished. He actually loves throwing things away for you--napkins, tissues (he can also somewhat blow his nose on his own into a tissue), you name it, he'll take it. He can follow directions, picking up things like shoes (mine, Robert's, or his own) on request and bringing them to people. He washes his baby doll in the bathtub, with a washcloth, dabbing at her hair and then drizzling water over her like I do to him.
He carries bags for us, often insisting on the biggest and heaviest one. He will stand at the sink on a stool (he carries it over) and wash his hands for as long as you'll let him. He actually carries the step stool all over the house for all different purposes. When someone says it's time to go, Marcus runs and grabs Robert's shoes and jacket and my bag and drags them over to the door, and then tries to open the door (he can't quite turn a doorknob reliably, given his height). When I have grocery bags in the dining room, and I open the refrigerator door to put away the food, he empties all the bags for me, making a little assembly line as he hands me item after item. I say "Thank you!" to each item and he echoes with nonsense words but with the exact same intonation. He helps Robert get the trash together, bringing each of the small trashcans up front one (or more) at a time.
He's getting an eyetooth on the bottom, he's wearing all eighteen-month or larger clothes, and I trimmed his bangs for the first time--just two snips, to keep them from going in his eyes, but Robert said I gave him a young Vulcan haircut (straight across and short). I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing, though.
He both talks and signs at the same time, for things like "down" and "up." He says "Oh! or "Boh!" when he means "No," but it is very obviously, distinctively, a "no." Since he likes the initial consonant /b/, "stop is also "Bop!" (very emphatically, of course). He also says "Uh-oh," with perfect intonation, at appropriate moments--dropped the toy, threw down the apple ("Ba-pal" is apple, by the way), rolled ball under the couch, etc. While "Uh-oh!" is perhaps his favorite word, he also says "Da" for yes (he's Russian now??), "Ba-ba" for bottle, "Haaaa" for hi (said with a Southern accent and intonation), and "Ba-by" when he sees a baby--meaning, someone obviously younger than him, or a baby doll.
At daycare, when they take the toddlers out on walks, he doesn't quite want to hold onto the rope and walk in place like all the other kids, so he and one other little boy sit in a wagon (like kings, I like to think), while the other kids walk.
He's way into waving, waving at dogs, waving at the telephone when I pick it up and say hi, waving at people who walk by outside the daycare windows. . . everyone. The best waves are reserved for dogs and Daddy: when Robert comes home at night, up the stairs, he gets furious waves and yells of happiness and excitement.
Last weekend we went to New York for three days to see my parents and Aunt Mary. Marcus had a great time playing with Hess trucks in the marble-floored lobby of my parents' apartment building, where he greeted everyone who came in or out. Here he is hugging the Raggedy Andy doll Aunt Mary and Aunt Grace had made me, years ago (I think I loved Andy when I was just the age Marcus is now).
Back in Boston, we stay busy with errands, check-ups, trips to Harvard Square, visits to Great Grandma Helena, and fun lunches with Mommy of brown rice avocado sushi--seriously, Marcus goes wild when he sees the Whole Foods sushi container. He takes delicate little bites from the top of each piece of maki, and then just shoves the brown rice into his mouth as the nori unfolds. He mostly discards the nori, but really tries to get every scrap of rice in that he can.
We celebrated the Year of the Tiger in Boston's Chinatown today with the lion dance, parade, and a great dim sum--Marcus loved watching the dragons and didn't get scared at all by the din of fireworks.
At daycare he eats the lunches and snacks that all the other toddlers eat. His daily logs come home with a litany of foods he ate ("pancakes, milk, juice, pretzels, raisins, pears, chicken, peas, graham crackers") and activities that he did ("dramatic play, Legos, art, circle time, music, outdoor play"). Baby is happy and thriving--we're happy to be celebrating a year and a half with him.
Finally, a few Marcus-movies from this past month for your viewing enjoyment:
Here's Marcus playing with the 3.5-year-old son of friends, at their house; there was apparently a difference of opinion over the movie on the computer, and what should be done with the computer as a result.
Here's Marcus on Superbowl Sunday (after brunch at the Beehive and a beautiful sunny winter walk) at a South End playground, enjoying the sunshine on the slide. Robert thinks he's sliding down (the big slide, for the record) with perfect, elegant sliding form. After this, we headed over to Ren and Matt's daughter's first birthday party, and then it was back to our place for a Superbowl party--quite the big day!
Here's Marcus the night before a (supposedly) big snowstorm in Boston. I got his sled down from the storage bin on the roof so if we got the kind of snow they were predicting it would be handy, and Robert led him around the living room in the sled. Uh, yeah, no snow.
Here's Marcus Valentine's Day morning in my parents' apartment in Bayside, Queens; he liked running in circles around the dining room table, roaring at my father and Aunt Mary, to scare them. Of course, he had kind of a good audience for this.